How to braise — a refresher
1. Put a heavy bottomed stockpot over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Sear your seasoned meat on all sides until brown, one to two minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
2. Add aromatic vegetables, like mire poix (a two-to-one-to-one mix of onions, carrots and celery ). Sauté until lightly browned; deglaze.
3. Return the meat to the pot with enough liquid — beer, wine, stock, water — to come halfway up the sides of the meat. Add any other flavouring ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat on the stovetop or in a 325 F oven until the meat is falling apart. This can be anywhere from one to several hours, depending on the size and cut of the meat.
4. Adjust the seasoning of the braising liquid, and serve immediately with the meat.
Or: Remove the meat. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, discarding the spent vegetable. Reduce the liquid until it coats the back of a spoon, or thicken it with beurre manié (equal parts butter and flour mashed into a paste) or a slurry of cornstarch or flour dissolved in cold liquid. Return the meat to the sauce along with any additional vegetables and serve immediately.